Ratios are number comparisons used in different areas of math, including probability, fractions, and geometry. Concepts you need to learn basic ratio math are the definition of ratio, how to write a ratio, and how to simplify a ratio. You can practice these skills by doing interactive quizzes and games, completing worksheets, making ratios from real world comparisons, and playing games like basketball.
Things You'll Need
Write down and memorize the definition of a ratio. Use resources such as A Maths Dictionary for Kids, the Math League, or Ask Dr. Math to learn a complete definition, as well as explanations of what ratios are and how to work them. A ratio is a comparison of two or more numbers. For example, if a basketball player made 3 out of 10 shots in a game, you could compare shots made to shots missed. This ratio would be 3 shots to 7 shots, or 3 to 7.
Learn the different ways to write a ratio. You can also write the ratio in the previous example as 3:7 or as a fraction, 3/7. You can't switch the order and still be correct. For example, 7 shots to 3 shots is not the same because the ratio now tells you that 7 shots were made and 3 shots were missed. Make sure you write the ratio in the correct order. You can also write a ratio comparing three numbers, such as shots made to shots missed to total shots. This ratio would be written as 3 to 7 to 10 or 3:7:10 or 3/7/10.
Practice writing ratios by finding and comparing things in everyday life like the number of boys to the total number of students in a class, cats to dogs in a pet shop, cars to bicycles in a parking lot, cans to bottles in the recycling bin, or red popsicles to all the popsicles in a box. Go to the BBC site (see the link below) to play an interactive game about writing ratios.
Put a ratio in simplest form by treating it like a fraction and simplifying, or "reducing," the fraction. If in the original example, the player made 6 out of 20 shots, the comparison of shots made to total shots is 6/20. This is simplified to 3/10 because 6 can be divided by 2 to get 3 and 20 can be divided by 2 to get 10. Simplifying a ratio makes it easier to see the comparison of the two parts. Download a worksheet on Shelly Bjerk's site to practice simplifying ratios.
Challenge a friend to a game of Wastepaper Basketball. Make a scorecard to keep track of how many points each player gets. After you each take ten turns, add up the points. Compare your points to your friend's points. If you made 6 baskets and he made 3, then the ratio of your points to his points is 6:3. This ratio is written in simplest form as 2:1. You can come up with other ratios to write, such as your points to your total shots or his points to your points.
How to Calculate Ratios and Proportions in Math
Ratios and proportions are related mathematical concepts. Ratios compare similar things, like distances or time. Proportions are two equivalent ratios, such as...
How to Find Ratios
A ratio is a way of comparing the quantity, amount or size of two or more things. Using the following information, you...
How to Use Manipulatives to Teach Ratios
Many children learn by seeing and touching, and physical objects used as math manipulatives offer these students a concrete way to understand...
How to Do Sixth Grade Math Ratio Tables
Math ratio tables show you the relationship between different ratios. Each table gives you at least one complete set of values to...
How to Explain Ratios
People often explain ratios as comparisons between two things. It is a statement that shows how one item compares to another. Ratios...
Daycare Ratio Requirements
One of the primary ways to ensure that a daycare has adequate supervision for its children is to review state licensing teacher/child...
Understanding Math Ratios
In math, ratio is a fraction in which two variables can compared. Discover how to convert ratios into fractions with help from...